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Oil scam: Reps uncover illegal companies used by NNPC, MDAs

By News Express on 18/02/2016

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The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating crude oil swap for refined petroleum products has uncovered the illegal companies registered by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

According to the chairman of the committee, Rep Zakari Mohammed, one of the companies listed in the documents obtained from the Office of the Accountant of the Federation (oAGF) for the ongoing investigative public hearing on the $24 billion crude oil swap scandal was Duke Global Energy Investment Limited, NNPC subsidiary.

Duke Energy Investment Limited was registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2012 by NNPC, as an arm of Duke Oil Incorporated registered in Panama in 1989, to trade crude oil on behalf of NNPC at the international market.

Hamman Pategi (APC-Kwara) explained that Federal Ministry of Finance did not have representative on the Board of Duke Energy Investment Limited, as obtainable to other companies established by MDAs and privatised companies across the country.

While reacting to presentations of various stakeholders, members of the Adhoc Committee queried rationale for the 7.56 million barrels of crude traded by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), 20 months after the expiration of the contract agreements between Duke Oil, Transfigura and other oil marketers.

The Committee also who queried the non-payment of tax by Transfigura to Nigerian authorities while a Nigeria company registered offshore pays its due taxes to its host country, however requested for all the annual financial reports of Duke Oil and Duke Energy Investment Limited since their establishments as well as evidence of relevant taxes paid to UK and Panama

Joseph Dawah, former NNPC Group Managing Director who appeared before the Committee, also confirmed that “in 2010, NNPC entered into OPA with Societe Ivoiriene de Raffinage refinery which expired on 3rd October 2013; crude for products exchange with Transfigura B. V of 60,000 barrels per day, which expired on 30th September 2013 and 90,000 barrel per day of crude for products exchange contract with Duke Oil Incorporated a subsidiary of NNPC.”

According to him, the NNPC former Secretary/Legal Adviser indicated that “NNPC and the contract holders had continued to ‘voluntarily’ operate the contracts,” which implies that “the contracts were deemed to have been renewed or extended on their terms by agreement of the parties.

In the bid to correct the anomalies in the swap arrangement, Dawah “requested approval from the then Minister of Petroleum Resources for renewal of the contracts. Upon receipt of the then Minister’s approval granted on 29th August 2014, the contracts were formally extended to cover the periods from their respective dates of expiry until the end of December 2014.

“If I had not got the Ministerial approval, I may have been the GMD with the shortest tenure because there is no way I would have allowed it to continue.”

He added that after obtaining the approval, NNPC eventually dropped for OPA based on value, while all the trading firms involved with the oil swap arrangement were contracted to continue with the OPA.

Dawah further argued that the OPAs delivers the highest yield for premium products per barrel of crude oil than the crude oil swap, based on an analysis of Yield Pattern Comparison conducted under his watch.

For his part, Babatunde Adeniran, Chairman of Duke Oil Board and NNPC Group Executive Director (Marketing) confirmed that Duke Oil sister company, pay requisite taxes in London but failed to disclosed whether the company pay tax in Panama where the company was incorporated in 1989.

He explained that all the profits made were remitted to NNPC which in turn pay into the Federation Account.

While responding to questions from the committee, Esther Nnamdi, PPMC Managing Director disclosed that the company in conjunction with NEITI negotiating direct refining of crude oil in order to meet domestic demand.

While reacting, the lawmakers also requested for copies of the taxes paid by Duke Oil to UK and other countries, just as they alleged that Duke Oil was used as laundering pipe by NNPC and proxies.

The lawmakers also expressed concern over the establishment of DUGIL, an umbrella company through which the N26 million tax was paid to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

They further alleged that Transfigura breached all extant laws in connivance with officials of NNPC and its subsidiaries, in tandem with the reports from the Extractive industry and NEITI which described crude oil lifting in Nigeria as opaque.

•Sourced from Peoples Daily.

Source News Express

Posted 18/02/2016 12:48:10 PM


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